You’d be missing out on something if you passed up an opportunity to visit the place which produced Bill Gates and Paul Allen, Jimi Hendrix, Starbucks, Dale Chihuly and Kurt Cobain. Located in the Pacific Northwest (with Vancouver to the North and Oregon to the South) is Seattle, a bustling metropolis and undoubtedly exciting place to be.
What to do and see
Start your day at the Pike Place Market, the year-round gourmet pantry for both tourists and locals alike. Its reputation for fresh food and produce is unrivalled in the city, and its chefs will experiment with anything as long as it is locally produced. Check out Pike Place Fish, where the humongous sea creatures are hauled over the counters to the delight of spectators, and the weird wall covered in gum at Post Alley (don’t ask why). The original Starbucks is located on the right of Cobblestone Pike Place!
Across the market is the Showbox at the Market, a legend for hosting numerous musicians from Muddy Waters to Pearl Jam. Seattle is well known for its thriving music scene. You can watch a show here or check out the avant-garde scene at Cafe Racer, which hosts a different musician every Sunday. The Crocodile, which saw Nirvana and Death Cab for Cutie on its stage before they became international sensations, is also an essential for music pilgrims.
Visit the EMP Museum, originally created by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen as a tribute to Jimi Hendrix. Today it is a collection of exhibitions and events ‘dedicated to the ideas and risk-taking that fuel contemporary popular culture’. A tribute to the inventive spirit of this city indeed. Other interesting museums include the Centre for Wooden Boats, and the Chihuly Garden and Glass showcase, which spans eight galleries worth of collections by the famous glass sculptor.
To really get to know the city, have a microbrew in each of Seattle’s neighbourhoods. Seattleites love their pints, and you’re sure to make a friend or two choosing between the funky taps that characterise the city’s watering holes. Local brewers like the Redhook Ale Brewery also offer tours of the beer-making operation, ending with a sampling of their proud creations.
Whatever it is, you will never be bored in Seattle, a place where something new is brewing every day.
The ‘Metro’ public bus system that operates throughout Seattle and King Country is extensive and easy to use. Route 99 connects Seattle’s International District, Pioneer Square and First avenue destinations. The Center Monorail provides a brisk link from downtown Seattle to Seattle Center, and Amtrak Services link Seattle to other States in the U.S. Motorbikes and taxis are also easily available. ‘Flightseeing’ is an unorthodox method of sightseeing popular amongst tourists. See the city from a float plane; short journeys of 20 minutes can be arranged!
Getting to Seattle
The Sea-Tac (Seattle-Tacoma) International airport handles international flight and many trans-Pacific routes, with direct flights to major Europeans airports, as well as Dubai and the UAE. From here, the Sound Transit’s Link Light Rail connects you to downtown Seattle at a minimal sum. Commercial shuttle buses, vans and taxis are also available.